If not, relax. The challenge of implementing BIM came into sharper focus from two recent webinars. One on the state of BIM and the other on the future of specifications.
ArchiCad, who arguably was first to the table with a BIM solution in 1987, sponsored the BIM webinar. The presenter was Antonio Ruivo Meireles, with Mota-Engil of Portugal. The AIA sponsored the specifications webinar, which was presented by Rob Dean of Building Systems Design, Michael Brennan of InterSpec, and Mark Kalin of Kalin Assoc.
From the specification webinar, the main take-away for me was that there are only first generation, proprietary methods of incorporating specs into a BIM model. A national standard is needed to assure project participants that they can read the model with their choice of software. The lack of a national standard is compounded by the immense complexity placed on the standard to deal with the millions of choices that a design or BIM model represents including quantities and costs. This might take a while to get it right.
The second problem is cultural. BIM represents a major departure in how a project gets designed - lots of new stuff to learn, old stuff to unlearn, and insecurity about one’s new place in the world. Resistance to BIM is fairly common. So much so that a multi-step strategy has been developed for introducing BIM into a firm. See recent post.
The third problem is that the cost / benefit proposition is broken. BIM requires the architect to provide the model, which only benefits the contractor and owner. Creating the BIM model is a larger job than traditional design services. So very few owners and contractors can take advantage of BIM that there is no one working on how to compensate the architect for the effort.
Who is going to champion BIM?
In the graph below the time line is relative. However I would place 2013 somewhere on the downward slope into ’Disillusionment’. After all the positive hoopla of the past decade, you are starting to see discussions of the problems that BIM must overcome - incorporating data, adjusting to cultural change, and getting paid for creating the BIM model.
My guess is we are going to see BIM used mostly in circumstances where the project is huge and the owner-contractor-architect is already a working partnership - no low bidders need apply.